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The role of intestinal a/b-defensin deficiency in IBD. Supplements?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 07, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Hi folks,

just stumbled across an interesting review about crohn's disease and it makes sense. http://www.nature.com/mi/journal/v1/n1s/full/mi200848a.html

Essentially they say that the gut lining needs antimicrobial proteins in order to contain the gut flora and prevent it from "trespassing" into the body. Those substances are mainly a-defensin and b-defensin which are secreted by Paneth-cells.

Those "natural antibiotics" seem to be able to selectively knock out certain bacteria strains in order to keep a healthy gut population.

Now in Crohn's disease (and I guess several other conditions) there's a lack of defensins in those Paneth-cells, hence they're not able to control the gut flora any more and a secondary inflammation response is triggered as the bacteria damages the gut lining.

I know this is a tough one, but could there be a mineral/vitamin/amino acid etc. which supports defensin production? Wikipedia says defensin is a cysteine rich protein, could this be an approach? Paneth-Cells contain a lot of zinc, another idea?

btw. this might be another reason why excessive fiber is detrimental, it simply overloades the defensin system by overly feeding the bacteria.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on November 08, 2012
at 07:28 AM

Hi, I'm still reading thru this topic as well and I'll keep updating the question if I find something useful. From what I've read it's a numbers game. How many defensin molecules can be produced within a certain period of time. Zinc is essential for gene transcription, so this might be important. Also there seems to be a variation in gene copy number of the section that is responsible for encoding the defensin. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16039093 Some people just seem to have fewer genes for defensin production. Lysozyme from Paneth-cells might be also of interest.

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2 Answers

1
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on November 08, 2012
at 02:58 AM

Thanks for posting this. I'm really curious about what the dietary recommendations might be for improving our defensins. According to this paper, vitamin D may be beneficial:

"Vitamin D can enhance the induction of the antimicrobial peptides cathelicidin and ??-defensin"

I found a lot of information, but I think I need to read up on this topic because at this point a bit of it is over my head. Still very interesting though.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on November 08, 2012
at 07:28 AM

Hi, I'm still reading thru this topic as well and I'll keep updating the question if I find something useful. From what I've read it's a numbers game. How many defensin molecules can be produced within a certain period of time. Zinc is essential for gene transcription, so this might be important. Also there seems to be a variation in gene copy number of the section that is responsible for encoding the defensin. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16039093 Some people just seem to have fewer genes for defensin production. Lysozyme from Paneth-cells might be also of interest.

1
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on November 08, 2012
at 02:14 AM

i have never heard of this before and i'm glad you posted about it. i have IBD so i'm always looking for supplements/foods to eat to help me heal.

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